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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-130

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 130

                   Monday, 22 May 2000


                XTC Chat, May 30, 7pm EDT
                   why is it here now?
       RE: Secret Affair and other random responses
                The Wheel and the Maypole
                   Sunday Times Article
                        XTC on NPR
               Flatbed Truck Idea Revisited
               EARLY WASP STAR SALE!!!!!!!!
            Wasp Star at Last/ Football teams
         more thoughts on color and music and XTC
      Bleedin' negativism (and a Chalkheads update)
                     XTC On Broadway?
                       Clock Faces


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    Chalkhills is compiled with Digest 3.7b (John Relph <>).

Ah, it's Christmas!


Date: Sun, 21 May 2000 21:25:42 -0700 (PDT)
From: John Relph <>
Subject: XTC Chat, May 30, 7pm EDT
Message-ID: <>


I just checked the Barnes & Noble site and they've got a confirmed
listing for the chat with XTC.  It will be on May 30 at 7PM EDT.
for more information.

	-- John


Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 08:45:53 +0200
From: Klaus Bergmaier <>
Subject: why is it here now?
Message-ID: <51018E3C4D8BD311A8E90000C0C7910D01CAFC@NTSRV>

Dear all!

I haven't posted for some 3 or 4 years, but now I have to do it again. When
I was in a record shop last saturday (May 20), I could hardly believe what I
saw. They had Wasp Star. I thought it would be released on May 22. And I
didn't expect it in that shop. Anyway, I don't know how long it had been
there, I bought it immediately. It is great. I can't understand why they
write all the McCartney stuff in the reviews. It's definitely an XTC
recording. It is pretty much a sequel to Nonsuch, an has - as always too
little of Colin's songs. "Standing in for Joe" is a sensation, as is "You
and the Clouds...", a funny answer to "Me and the wind". The guitar work is
great, I hardly miss Dave, Andy has done a great job, as has Colin, who is
my all time favourite bass player. The drumming is excellent (by both
drummers). I don't want to hear such an album by Paul McCartney, I want
another XTC album (Apple Venus "Tree") as soon as possible AND a new
McCartney album - he is also great in his way and many of his albums
(Flowers in the Dirt, Tug of War, Flaming Pie) are marvellous. I can't
really tell if Vol.1 or Vol.2 is better. I like them both. BTW, who is

Anyway, I didn't expect the record to be in the Austrian shops so early. I
didn't expect it at all. I thought I would have to order it...
I'm glad I got it.

Best wishes from Austria


Visit West Beatown an listen to the tunes of BIG APPLE!!!


Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 09:47:35 +0100
From: "Smith, David" <>
Subject: RE: Secret Affair and other random responses
Message-ID: <>

In 6-125, Steve Pitts asked about Two Wheels Good by Prefab Sprout:

>This is the third or fourth time I've seen this album mentioned, but I've
>never seen it. Is it a compilation, or the Stateside name for an album that
>has a different title here in the UK??

Yes Steve, here in the UK you would know (and, I hope, love) that album
as "Steve McQueen". Can't tell you why - I think it had to do with the fact
that Steve McQueen's name was copyrighted in the US  - but I'm probably
wrong (I usually am).

Steve also mentioned that

>Secret Affair . . .  could count as a 'lost' band in my book.

Lost no longer Steve! My mate plays bass in a mod-ish band (called
Smashing Time, if anyone's interested) and they are supporting Secret
Affair very soon.  If you're interested, post me off line and I'll get
details for you.

In 6-127 Wayne said

>I envy you folks in the UK - you get to see both Prefab Sprout and
Martin Newell!  All we have to settle for is the Eagles for the
umpteenth time (they are, after all, making a new album and planning
on touring next year if all works out).

If it's any consolation to you Wayne, I saw Paddy and the Prefabs live
a few weeks back and they were rubbish. Well, actually, I'm lying just
to make you feel better, they were absolutely bloody brilliant!

That probably hasn't helped has it?

And finally (Esther), all this trading that goes on. So how (on Green
Man's earth) do you get to trade for nuggets like these if you haven't
got anything to trade in return.  What's the deal with hard cash these



Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 04:23:18 -0400
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: The Wheel and the Maypole
Message-ID: <>

I, like so many Chalkhillians, approached my first listening of Wasp Star
with great excitement. Thanks to the magic of radio station connections
(I... love... college!) I had the joy of hearing it a month early, but this
just served to increase my anticipation. Whereas with Vol. 1, I had heard
almost every track in demo form literally years before (reducing my
surprise, though not my enjoyment of the final product), with Vol. 2 I was
walking in fairly blind. I knew three songs -- three of twelve, about how
many I usually know when I buy any album -- so much of what I would hear
would be a complete surprise. This seemed like a lovely opportunity to me
-- given my conversion in 1993, this would be the first time I'd get to
hear a new XTC album without preconceptions about all the tracks.

Upon listening, my high expectations were easily met. On my course through
the album, a number of high points struck me -- "Playground," jubilant but
just angstful enough; "We're All Light," danceable, sexy, and with one
kick-ass drum riff. I was eagerly enjoying my listening, but I figured that
the excitement would top out at "Church Of Women"; I had read one
description of "The Wheel and the Maypole" as uninteresting, so I figured
the best of the album was behind me.

Oh, God.

As I listened to the beginning of "The Wheel and the Maypole," it was as if
Andy Partridge's songwriting had walked up and kicked me right in the soul.
The first refrain feels like an English folk melody that had spent its
childhood watching rock music on the telly -- the beauty of nature and life
with a balls-out approach. The energy builds like your urge to dance after
two glasses of chilled wine on a warm summer day. Then the song slips into
its lighter, but no less excellent, second movement -- all of a sudden, not
just as if it were the best possible progression, but as if it were the
*only* possible one -- and the acoustic guitars drive us to a perfect
counterpoint to the first section. At some point in the phrase "The ties
that bind you will unwind to free me one day" my heart leaps up and dances.
I'm in love with a girl and we're dancing in the meadow with bare feet.
Finally at the end, the two refrains join and spiral together, like the
ribbons on the maypole winding and unwinding eternally. Bliss.
Understanding. XTC.

How does a song this pretty rock out so hard? How does Andy make me want to
dance with my air guitar in full strum and lie back from the aching beauty
at the same time? This song is a culmination in so many ways. Every
changing-seasons lyric Andy ever wrote -- practice for this. Was I so
naive? Of course it all unweaves. Andy manages to make the death portion of
the song sound as happy and joyful as the sex portion (though I've still
yet to work out exactly which sort of innuendo "I've got the big stick if
you've Aunt Sally's head" is). Whereas "We're All Light" is daring in the
face of danger -- we've got little time, let's get busy while we can --
"The Wheel and the Maypole" is unrepentantly merry -- love is magnificent
and death is just as much a part of the cycle. Gorgeous. As for the sound
on this song: both volumes of _Apple Venus_ start with a thesis statement
-- "River of Orchids" and "Playground" both represent the differing
approaches of the two discs, the orchoustic and the electric epitomized.
"The Wheel and the Maypole" is a synthesis statement -- why choose?
Woodwinds swirl around crunching guitars; rollicking bass and wicked drum
rolls are followed by swooping violins. It's as if Andy took everything he
learned from writing these two albums and injected it into one five-minute
package. This song *is* the XTC sound, I think -- catchy, bouncy, loud,
smooth, and beautiful all at once. A coup, and a fucking magnificent ending
to this album. The $13 is worth it just for this.

Ahem. I like this song a lot. I felt the need to share.

Joshua "I've got the big stick" Hall-Bachner

/---------------------------Joshua Hall-Bachner---------------------------\
|   |
| "We all have our idiosyncracies -- maybe thinning hair, or gum disease."|
\---- Kowanko, "Will You Come To?" ------ Thank You, And Goodnight. ------/


Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 02:27:47 -0800
From: Patrick M Adamek <>
Subject: NPRXTC
Message-ID: <>

Hello from Alaska,

John Keel wrote:
Hi kids,

So, I must have missed the XTC interview because it wasn't in the second
hour?  Did anyone hear it and is it worth ordering a tape from them?  Do

The original message from the NPR guy stated that the show would air on

I bought 3 blank tapes for all three airings of the show on my local
affiliate.  You still have time!

Patrick Adamek


Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 12:04:40 +0100
From: "Gary Nicholson" <>
Subject: Sunday Times Article
Message-ID: <>
Organization: BMJ Books

You can find an article entitled 'Freedom begins at 40' featuring an AP
interview/general feature on XTC at

Just click on 'culture' in the sidebar and scroll down to find the item
in question.

Gary N


Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 07:02:33 EDT
Subject: XTC on NPR
Message-ID: <>

In a message dated 05/22/2000 1:00:04 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
<> writes:

<< So, I must have missed the XTC interview because it wasn't in the second
 hour?  Did anyone hear it and is it worth ordering a tape from them?  Do
 tell. >>

Hee, hee, hee.  I made the same mistake!  Then I read the original post a
little closer, and realized that it's on NEXT Sunday!

J. D.


Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 08:40:11 EDT
Subject: Flatbed Truck Idea Revisited
Message-ID: <>

Last year, Andy brought up the idea of playing on the back of a
flatbed truck in front of a record store/radio station in an impromptu
"guerilla action" type of gig.  How about this about a show
in the basement of a failing CD store?

I can supply the store.  While two of my "CD Warehouse" stores on Long
Island are doing fine, I am moving my third store to a new location in
August.  What better way to close it down then having Andy & Colin

The store is in Huntington Station, NY, about 40 minutes from NYC, and
has previously hosted shows by Fred Norris (from the Howard Stern
show) and Too Much Joy (who actually used a different name because
they were trying out new stuff & were probably embarrased to be
playing a gig in the "bargain bin" area of a suburban CD store!).
Fits about 120 uncomfortably, and is in the heart of WLIR-FM 92.7's
(only NY station to play XTC) listening area.

To get a look at our setup, here's my shameless website plug:

If anyone on the list has a line to Andy, run it by him!  What a way
to get this store "boarded up!"  Doug M.


Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 08:27:51 -0500
Subject: EARLY WASP STAR SALE!!!!!!!!
Message-ID: <>

Hello Chalksters,

Just finished listening to Wasp Star all weekend. Not a promo copy or
advance copy. The real thing. I popped into the record store at the mall
Saturday morning and was milling through XTC when lo and behold, there
it was. I couldn't believe it. It's not suppose to be out till Tuesday.
I grabbed a copy and marched my butt right up to the counter to check
out. I knew there must be some kind of mistake but who I am to argue.
The clerk started to ring it up and then the manager saw what the clerk
was doing. The manager quietly took me aside and said that normally they
couldn't sell it before the release date but would make an exception for
me since the copies were put out for sale. She didn't even ring it up.
Just made change for my $20 out of the register and gave me change.
Shame the sale wouldn't go onto Soundscan for the charts but I was
psyched about getting it early. They immediately went over and pulled
all the other copies off the shelf. Wasp Star is super fantastic. I
won't go into a song by song analysis but everything on it is good. Some
songs take a second or third listen to start to hit but that has always
been the case with me on XTC's new stuff. One question. In their thank
yous, they finish with a last but not least, Spoofy. Is that a pet or a
person? I knew all the others in the thank you. John Relph included.


Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 14:58:43 +0100
From: "Davies, Huw (TPE)" <Huw.Davies3@Wales.GSI.Gov.UK>
Subject: Wasp Star at Last/ Football teams
Message-ID: <7209B69A281BD4119EE50001FA7EA975AEADED@WOMAIL2>

I am now a proud owner of Wasp Star. I bought it during my lunch break today
at the HMV in the centre of Cardiff, but I'll have to go home before I can
hear it. As with all XTC records it will probably take several listenings
before I can come up with a definitive view of it. From what I've heard, I'm
expecting a Big Express kind of album.

I actually heard XTC on the radio here in the UK. Jonathan Ross played
"Stupidly Happy" on his Saturday morning show on BBC Radio 2. I fear that
Radio 2 is the natural home for XTC these days. Anyway, hearing it certainly
made my day and made up for the disappointment of Chelsea winning the FA Cup
later in the day.

It's interesting to see what English football teams people on this list
support. QPR, Chelsea, Leyton Orient (my own team) and as I seem to recall,
Dom is a West Ham fan. Of course, as an XTC fan I have sympathies for poor
old Swindon Town FC.

Apologies to those who have absolutely no interest in English football/

Huw Davies


Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 09:04:27 -0500
From: Jill Oleson <>
Subject: more thoughts on color and music and XTC
Message-ID: <81CC73FC2FACD311A2D200508B8B88AA1C8BFB@KURION_EXCH>

In the recent discussions about color and music, nobody
has addressed the issue quite as Andy did, which is to note that
individual chords (individual sounds), for him, have color.  Rob wrote
beautifully about albums and whole songs having color, but what about
the individual parts that make up the songs, the sounds themselves?
And assuming that all sounds have colors, not just the guitar chords,
but also the bass and drum sounds, the vocals, the harmonies, and the
unique guttural sounds that Andy especially likes to make, what is it
like to construct a song from such a palette?

And if the construction of songs is indeed analogous to architecture,
as Andy has stated and Chauncy has reminded us, then the colors
of the music palette form something not 2-dimensional, like a painting,
but something 3-dimensional, perhaps more like a garden, a very
colorful garden--maybe seen on a clear, sunny day, or maybe a cloudy,
overcast day, or maybe even at night, either with or without a moon--each
circumstance affecting the tint and shade of the colors presented.

Even though as a painter, I am a very visual person, for me, sounds
especially in the context of music, have pattern more than they have
color.  In this way, Harrison, I have more in common with Mondrian
than Kandinsky or Hockney, as you mentioned in your post about

When I was in college, I took a class in costume design for the
theatre.  One of our class exercises was to listen to a piece of music
and paint in watercolor on paper according to what we heard.  In other
words, the sounds and the rhythms that form the music we were listening
to was to inspire the images in our paintings, as well as our color choices.
What I discovered about myself with this exercise was that my images
tended to be patterns and that the colors I chose were secondary to the
patterns.  The idea of the exercise was that as costume designers,
the images in our paintings might be used to print the fabric for the actors
to wear and that the aural theme of the music would be reflected in
the visual theme of the costumes.

As the years went by and I moved from costume design to painting
on canvas and board, music continued to play an important role in my
creative process:  I choose particular pieces of music to listen to while
painting to affect my mood and to inspire specific imagery as well as
a more general creative sensibility.  For each of my paintings, there is
usually a specific album or song that goes with it (at least in my own
brain because I remember what I was listening to).

I understand that some of you have been having a synesthesia
discussion offline without me -- and I'm the one who brought up the
topic in the first place!  Please remember to include me in your
future discussions.  I truly am interested in this topic.

Jill Oleson
Austin, Texas


Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 09:12:06 -0500
From: John Voorhees <>
Subject: Bleedin' negativism (and a Chalkheads update)

Okay, I must rant now.

Seems like every review I've read of Wasp Star praises it to the skies
and then proceeds to lament the "fact" that it will never get anywhere
on the charts because... well, because XTC never gets anywhere on the
charts on their stuff is always brilliant.
Read something similar on the list as well.  Let me just say this.

What kind of moaning, pathetic, fatalist, cynical TRIPE is this?

I'm not fool enough to guarantee chart success this time around, but is
there no one besides me who sees that Wasp Star is DIFFERENT than
anything XTC have done in... well, ever!?!  Each CD does have its own
chance to shine, after all.

And remember, this is only the second new album to come out in the new,
non-Virgin scheme, and as much as we all love AV1, I don't think anyone
will deny that it's a bit... erm... rarefied for top 40 success. The
singles choices were not exactly obvious either, not to mention that
there was never a video.

WS:AV2 is a whole new ballgame, people.  Stop yer moaning.  If you
personally know any of the critics who have taken this easy road to a
last para in their review (Ah, gasp, the brilliant, tragic artists,
DOOMED to create stunning artwork and NEVER be appreciated by the
masses... oh, too bad, too bad, cuz it's feckin brilliant... etc.),
please do the world a favor and SLAP 'EM HARD!

We shall see when the numbers roll out, won't we?  Stop playing Kreskin

Ohhhh.. that feels better,

On happier topics, Chalkheads (the station) is now up to 21
songs by various interesting peopleses!  The latest additions are by
Bass-Cleff (aka Kevin Diamond), Ben Gott, The French Electric All Stars,
and Work of Saws.  It's quite an eclectric set, really, and it's all at !  Go take a listen to get a sense of
the powerful and diverse talent in XTC fandom (in case you weren't
aware).  And the doors are far from closed, incidentally.  If there's
anyone reading who feels that their stuff should go up, just tell me
where it is and I'll listen and find something to play!  Remember, the
only requirements are to be a Chalkhiller (if you're reading this, you
are one!) and to have some music up at

Be well, do good work, keep in touch, and stop yer whining,
John Voorhees


Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 11:44:34 -0400
From: "Lieman, Ira" <>
Subject: XTC On Broadway?
Message-ID: <>


No, the subject line isn't happening...although you could buy the album at
the Virgin Megastore tomorrow. :)

I'm eagerly awaiting the opening (this Fall) of the Broadway adaptation of
the movie "The Full Monty," with songs by Chalkhills' subscriber (and
some-time recording artist and producer) David Yazbek! There's a big XTC
connection to this new show, and I know that I'd love to be one of the first
on the line when the dates are announced.

It seems Yazbek's been working on this for some time now, but the fact it
was given a small blurb in my local paper this weekend brings it <-this->
much closer to playing in front of audiences.

Now the big question...wanna make it a Chalkhills party? It's going to be a
while, yeah, I know. But as soon as I can get the dates I'll send out
another message. But a show of hands would be swell. This would be in New
York City, folks!

E-mail me back at and I'll gauge interest for group tickets.

-ira "


Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 11:55:37 -0500
From: "David B. Rhoten" <>
Subject: Clock Faces
Message-ID: <392920A2.20676.EBF61FC@localhost>
Organization: Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey & Associates, P.A

I believe the time to which you are referring is 2:50. This puts both
hands at a slight upward cant, making the clockface "smile". It's
done in ads, etc. (I just double-checked, and also found ads
showing 10:10, which is the same, but the hands are reversed.)

On 21 May 2000, at 20:58, Drew MacDonald wrote:

> Okay, this may sound insane, but I always ascribed the significance of
> "4:20" to the fact that, for many years, watchmakers and clockmakers
> traditionally set the hands of the clocks on their street display
> signs to that time. This factoid served as an important plot point in
> an unimportant mystery novel I read as a child, though I can't recall
> if the book ever explained how this custom originally came about. And
> it's not like there are many modern-day "clockmaker" shops (at least
> here in LA) for me to go confirm this story.

David Rhoten
Schaefer Johnson Cox Frey & Associates, P.A.
Architecture Engineering Planning Interior Design


Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 13:15:49 -0500
From: Mark <>
Subject: OMG!
Message-ID: <>

Oh my is more than I had
anticipated...dreamed.....kudos to my local station...i got them to play
WS in its entirety today 5/22 during their lunch
program...LOL.....tomorrow, it will be in my rack.......let the floods
begin, eh John?  ...ya know, for the last 20 years, i have always tried
to get people to listen to XTC....with some success and some they just
didn't get it......but i think...the masses will hear more XTC now then
ever before with Wasp Star....for an Omaha radio station (mkt 75) to
play the whole album with no
now.........  i'm happy...stupidly done Colin
and Andy.....well done.........

Mark in a house on a hill in Omahaha


Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 13:54:10 -0500
From: "Jan C. Harris" <>
Subject: Graceland
Message-ID: <00a801bfc41f$59a0bd80$53a6f5d0@janstrigem>

Megan writes:  <<The Mississippi River doesn't shine like a
National guitar.  It smells like a dead pig.>>

Home of Elvis and the ancient greeks
Do I smell? I smell home cooking
It's only the river, it's only the river.

PS TVT works okay on this obsolete P166 PC.  It's not user
friendly but it works.


End of Chalkhills Digest #6-130

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